Mobility / Transportation
Issues of mobility are paramount to FutureVU efforts given efforts to beautify the entire campus, enhance the park-like character people enjoy and better connect areas of campus that feel disconnected. In close alignment with the FutureVU Guiding Principles, the land use plan calls for diversification of transportation options, prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and improvement of accessibility. Principles include regular evaluation of how cars and traffic interact with the campus boundaries, and reducing, rather than adding to, the number of roadways. In addition, Vanderbilt aims to enhance connectivity by integrating pedestrian and bicycle circulation, providing wayfinding that integrates with campus landscape and architecture, reducing vehicular through-traffic, relocating existing and locating new parking structures to the perimeter of campus, and promoting safety on campus.
The university is at an important inflection point and students, faculty and staff have come together as a community to discuss the future of the campus footprint and engage in dialogue to develop solutions in order to improve sustainability and offer healthier, more flexible ways of traveling. The FutureVU team has been meeting with constituents on campus and across Nashville and studying best practices at other universities and cities, as well as lessons learned abroad, to understand the multi-layered issues that connect back to transportation issues and needs on campus, including the distribution of Vanderbilt’s own workforce in Nashville. Eighty-two of the university’s 330 acres, or roughly 25 percent, are currently dedicated to parking. In addition, data shows that many of Vanderbilt's employees who may benefit most from public transportation live in areas that are not currently well served by it. Considering the highest and best use of a precious resource, Vanderbilt's land, and evaluating solutions that will assist the campus community are paramount to the mobility efforts.
Wond'ry Transportation Working Groups
Following the Chancellor's Town Hall on Transportation, held on October 28, 2016, more than 90 individuals signed up to participate in Transportation Working Groups. The groups, facilitated by the Wond’ry, included faculty, staff and students from across the university. Participants were assigned to working groups and met throughout the spring semester of 2017.
The six working groups were charged specifically with formulating actionable steps the university can take related to:
- Metropolitan Transit Authority / Regional Transportation Authority (MTA/RTA) bus and train adjustments to better service Vanderbilt;
- Vanderbilt shuttle opportunities;
- Expansion of Uber and Lyft opportunities on campus;
- Expansion of on-campus biking infrastructure and bike programs;
- Potential alternative work arrangements; and
- Vanpools, carpools and other partnerships.
Read more about their efforts here.
The preparation of a comprehensive transportation strategy, based on recommendations from the Wond'ry working groups, Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) proposal, FutureVU Faculty Advisory Committee, and land use consultants is currently being drafted. The slide deck at the following link lists all transportation and mobility related recommendations that were received, and are being evaluated and considered, as a part of the comprehensive strategy: